A simple and intuitive platform, commission-free stock & ETF trading, and fractional shares have made Trading 212 one of the most popular global brokers. The platform has amassed over 2 million customers so far and has very good customer reviews.
It also offers the Auto Invest & Pies feature, which helps beginner investors build a diversified portfolio in a simple and effective way.
However, Trading 212 is not a perfect platform by any means (there is no such thing in general). Some of the main cons of the platform include:
- Limited offer of financial products (no bonds, options, futures, or mutual funds);
- Foreign exchange fees of 0.15% for Trading 212 Invest and 0.50% for Trading 212 CFD accounts, respectively;
- No advanced trading tools for fundamental or technical analysis;
- Relatively high spreads on Forex CFDs (Trading 212 CFD account);
- The practice of share lending, which potentially adds another layer of risk.
Depending on your situation, consider other platforms that can meet your investing needs in a better way. These are our top picks for Trading 212 alternatives:
Best Trading 212 Alternatives in 2023
Interactive Brokers | Best global broker overall
Founded in 1978, it is one of the world’s most trustworthy brokers. It offers a wide selection of financial products (stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, currencies, options, and futures) from more than 150 global markets at reasonable commissions and low currency exchange fees.
eToro | Best for commission-free stock trading and social investing
Since being founded in 2007, eToro has amassed over 30 million users by offering commission-free stock trading. It also offers other financial products like cryptocurrencies, as well as an innovative social investing feature (copying and following other investors’ trades and portfolios).
DEGIRO | Best European broker for commission-free ETFs
DEGIRO is one of the leading online brokers in Europe (available in 15 European countries), with over 2.5 million users. It has become popular primarily due to its low-cost structure and offering of commission-free ETF trading.
Plus500 | Best for CFD trading
Plus500 is a multi-asset online broker that offers no commissions when trading CFDs in Indices, Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrencies, Shares, Options, and ETFs. It also offers an account for those who want to invest in physical shares called Plus500 Invest.
Disclaimer: 86% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
inbestMe | Best for automated investing
inbestMe is an automated investing (robo-advisor) platform that builds customized portfolios based on the user’s risk tolerance and financial goals. It is suitable for beginner investors looking for an easy way to invest in a diversified set of assets for the long term.
Saxo Bank | Best broker for experienced traders
This Danish broker offers experienced traders access to exchanges worldwide. It has a wide financial product selection, including options, forex options, commodities, futures, and more. It is most suitable for advanced investors because of its relatively high fees.
|Broker||Minimum deposit||Supported Products||Currency conversion fee||Available in||Trading fees (US stocks)|
|Interactive Brokers||$0||Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, currencies, options, and futures||0.08-0.20 basis points x Trade Value per order ($1-$2 minimum per order)||Internationally (exceptions apply)||From $0.0005 (Tiered) to $0.005 (Fixed) – Free to US investors|
|eToro||$50 (varies across countries)||ETFs, stocks, cryptocurrencies, CFDs||Between 50 and 150 PIPs||Internationally (exceptions apply)||Commission-free (other fees may apply)|
|DEGIRO||€/£1||Stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, futures||0.25%||Europe||€/£1 per trade|
|Plus500||$100||Stocks (Plus500 Invest), CFDs (Plus500 CFD)||Spot rate ± 0.7%||Internationally (not available in the US and some other countries)||0.006$ per share (higher on other exchanges)|
|inbestMe||$/€5,000 (varies across different plans)||Automated investing plans (only ETF plans are available outside Spain)||✘ (support only $ & €)||Internationally (only ETF plans are available outside Spain)||✘ (total fees 0.71%-0.80% yearly on AUM)|
|Saxo Bank||£500 (depending on your residency)||Stocks, ETFs, bonds, currencies, futures, options, mutual funds, CFDs||0.45% to 0.75%||Internationally (exceptions apply)||$5 minimum (Classic account)|
For a full comparison of the brokers presented here, make sure to check our broker comparison page.
#1 Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers at a glance
Having been around since 1978 and surviving multiple financial crises, the Interactive Brokers’ major advantage is its reputation. It is also publicly listed on the NASDAQ exchange (ticker: IBKR), which makes it a bit more regulated than some other platforms.
Other significant advantages of using Interactive Brokers are its wide selection of financial products from over 150 markets, solid trade execution (IB SmartRouting), and supporting 24 currencies in its account. There are also 100+ currency pairs available for exchange.
Some downsides of using Interactive Brokers are its complex fee structure, lengthier than average registration and fund deposit processes, and limited commission-free trading (only available for US investors). However, the last point is largely mitigated by using narrower spreads and lower FX fees than some of its competitors.
Speaking of the fee structure, there are two distinct plans to choose from – Tiered and Fixed, with the former fees depending on the trade volume. The fees also vary across different markets. You can see the full fee structure here.
The Interactive Brokers Trader Workstation (TWS) platform offers many basic and advanced features, such as a demo account, watch lists, alerts and monitoring in real-time, advanced technical analysis tools, and more. One of the downsides of the platform is that the learning curve can be steep for beginners, even with the provided educational materials.
The IBKR GlobalTrader mobile app is a much more intuitive choice for beginner investors, offering stocks, ETFs, and options trading in a more user-friendly format. Other app features include automatic currency conversions, fractional shares (only for US stocks found here), and more.
There is also a web-based application named Client Portal, which is halfway between TWS and Global Trader in terms of both user experience and available options. It offers some of the advanced trading tools of the TWS in a more user-friendly format.
Overall, Interactive Brokers is a good choice for beginners and advanced investors looking for a secure broker and access to a large variety of financial instruments. If you need more info, feel free to check out our more detailed review of Interactive Brokers.
- Reputable, publicly listed, and well-regulated broker
- Wide choice of financial products and global markets
- Low commissions, currency exchange fees, and trading spreads
- Higher learning curve than some other platforms (partially fixed with IBKR GlobalTrader)
- More complicated account opening and fund depositing process than average
- Complicated fee structure
77% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
eToro at a glance
Being founded in 2007, regulated by top-tier financial institutions, and having over 30 million global users, eToro is a well-renowned broker. The platform is most known for its social trading feature, in which you can follow and copy other investors’ trades and portfolios. There is also a wide selection of markets and financial products to choose from when investing by yourself, including stocks, ETFs, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs (on stocks, ETFs, commodities, currencies, indices, and cryptocurrencies).
The platform is intuitive and well-suited even for beginners and also offers trading with virtual funds through its demo account. Account opening and depositing funds are both easy and fast. Zero commission trading is available, and the minimum deposit is set at $50.
The feature that eToro is best known for is probably its social trading feature named Copy Trader. It allows users to copy the trading behavior of other investors in real-time, at no extra charge to the user.
Another unique feature of eToro is an automated investing tool named Smart Portfolios. Most Smart Portfolios are created and managed by the eToro Investment Team, but Partner Portfolios are created and managed by eToro’s partners, which include asset managers, data research companies, and more.
Low and transparent fees are one of the main pros of using of eToro. There are no fees for account management or when trading stocks. The most common fees are:
- Currency exchange fees when depositing in currencies other than the USD;
- A fixed withdrawal fee of $5 (minimum withdrawal amount is $30);
- $10 after 1 year of inactivity
- Market (bid/ask) spreads.
The most important cons when using eToro are the aforementioned fees, supporting only one currency for trading (USD), and having high spreads on certain products. Other cons include the lack of more advanced tools for experienced traders and the platform having custody over users’ crypto assets.
Overall, eToro is a good choice for most beginner investors looking for a simple and low-cost way to start investing through a reputable broker who offers access to a wide selection of financial products. If you need more info, feel free to check out our more detailed review of eToro.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use, and beginner-friendly platform
- Low fees, including commission-free stock trading
- Innovative features such as social trading (CopyTrader), Smart Portfolios, etc.
- Only one currency is accepted for trading (USD)
- Withdrawal fee ($5)
- High spreads on certain products
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 77% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
Investing involves risk of loss.
DEGIRO at a glance
Founded in 2013 in the Netherlands, DEGIRO became one of the most popular European brokers, with over 2.5 million customers. It is also amongst the largest publicly traded companies in Germany, and it even secured a banking license. It is available in 15 European countries (currently not present outside of Europe).
DEGIRO is perhaps best known for its low fees and wide selection of financial products. There are no deposit or withdrawal fees, as well as inactivity fees. Commission-free trading is also available, but only for selected ETFs found on this list. Bear in mind that a €1 handling fee applies.
The platform is intuitive and fairly simple to use, even for beginner investors. There are even some advanced trading options available, such as different market order types and live interactive charts.
One of the cons of using DEGIRO is that bank transfers are the only deposit method available.
DEGIRO’s fee structure is fairly simple and includes:
- A €/£1.00 commission per trade for US, Canadian and local stocks;
- A €/£1 handling fee;
- A €/£2.50 connectivity fee per exchange;
- Fixed currency conversion fee of 0.25%.
Another thing to remember is that leveraged products for U.S. exchange-listed stocks are limited. If you want to trade options and futures, Interactive Brokers or Saxo Bank are probably more suitable choices.
If you need more info, please check out our more detailed review of DEGIRO.
- Commission-free trading for selected ETFs
- Wide selection of financial products
- Reputable: well regulated, publicly traded, good customer reviews
- Only available in Europe (15 countries)
- Limited leveraged products
- It’s not 100% commission-free even for ETFs, because other fees do apply
86% of retail CFD accounts lose money.
Plus500 at a glance
Founded in 2008, Plus500 is a trading platform best known for its wide choice of CFD products and low fees through its Plus500 CFD account. However, it also offers stocks (physical shares) in its Plus500 Invest account.
The company is also listed on the London Stock Exchange and is available in over 50 countries.
The web platform (WebTrader) offers an intuitive interface with access from multiple devices, including a mobile app. There is also a demo account option to test the features and trade with virtual funds.
Plus500 offers accounts in 16 different currencies (including USD, EUR, and GBP, to name a few). There is also a currency conversion fee (up to 0.7% of the trade’s realized net profit and loss) and a $10 monthly inactivity fee (following three months of not logging in to the platform).
Plus500 CFD fees come mainly from the buy/sell (Bid/Ask) spread, which varies across different instruments. When using Plus500 Invest, each trade has a fee, depending on the exchange you’re using. It could be as low as 0.006$ per share for US stocks but can be significantly higher for EU stocks (the minimum is between €2 and €6 per trade).
Find more detail about Plus500 CFD fees here and Plus500 Invest fees here.
If you need more info about this platform in general, feel free to check out our more detailed review of Plus 500.
- Low fees and wide choice for CFD trading
- Available in 50+ countries and supports 16 different currencies
- Intuitive interface with a demo account option
- Primarily a CFD broker
- The inactivity fee
- Relatively high fees for non-US stocks
inbestMe at a glance
Founded in 2017, inbestMe is a fairly new investment platform. We can categorize it as a robo-advisor, which means that it offers automated investing (similar to Trading 212 Auto Invest & Pies).
The investing plans are divided into Pension Plans, Index Funds, and ETFs, with the first two being available only in Spain. There is also a socially responsible (SRI) version of all three plans. Other plans include a premium plan inbestMe Plus for users with over €100,000 of AUM (assets-under-management) and inbestMe Kids, an account for minors with a Spanish ID.
This means that, if you’re not a resident of Spain, you will only have access to the inbestMe ETF plans. There are 4 plans to choose from in this category:
|Investment plan||Investment strategy||Minimum deposit||Total fees (management + depositary/trading + built-in)||Other features|
|inbestMe ETF||Long-term (annual review)||€5,000||0.71% (max.)||Automatic rebalancing, tax optimization|
|inbestMe ETFs SRI||Long-term (socially responsible)||€5,000||0.75% (max.)||Automatic rebalancing, tax optimization|
|inbestMe ETFs Dynamic||Adaptive distribution (monthly review)||€10,000||0.80% (max.)||Automatic rebalancing, tax optimization|
|inbestMe ETFs Value||Value bias||€15,000||0.77% (max.)||Automatic rebalancing, tax optimization|
The listed fees are for accounts with a value of under €100,000. There is also a variable success fee on the performance obtained of 5%, but only for the inbestMe ETFs Dynamic plan. For more detail about the fee structure of the ETF plans, please visit this link.
Also keep in mind that inbestMe uses Interactive Brokers to execute trades and hold your securities, with inbestMe acting as the manager in this process.
Opening and funding the account on inbestMe is a fairly simple and fast process. You start by answering an interactive questionnaire that determines your investment (risk) profile. This is the base for building a globally diversified investment plan specifically for you. After that, the only thing you have left is to start investing, with different minimum initial deposits for each investment plan.
Similar to other robo-advisors, the platform is simple and intuitive, even for beginners.
Overall, inbestMe is a good choice for a beginner wanting to fully automate their investing process. The platform is easy to navigate from start to finish and the fees are reasonable.
However, if you’re not a Spanish resident, you will have to settle only for their ETF investment plan (regular or SRI). Also, keep in mind that the minimum initial deposits are high.
- Easy to use, from account opening to making deposits and investing
- Automated investing with automatic rebalancing and tax optimization
- Easy access to socially responsible (SRI) investing
- Most investment plans are only available in Spain
- High minimum initial deposits
- Bank transfer is the only deposit method available
#6 Saxo Bank
Saxo Bank at a glance
Founded in 1992, Saxo Bank has been in business longer than all of the brokers on this list except Interactive Brokers. It is known for its wide variety of financial products (over 60,000), access to a large number of market exchanges (over 120), and a large number of base currencies (18).
Saxo Bank has, more than anything, been trying to appeal to the professional investor. It has done so by offering advanced tools, such as its integration with the Trading View charting platform. The apps SaxoTraderGO and SaxoTraderPRO have also been tailored to the professional user.
Maybe that’s why Saxo Bank has one of the highest initial deposit requirements in the industry. These can vary wildly depending on your residency, starting from £500 for the UK and €2,000 for most European countries. It is important to note that Saxo Bank is not available in some big global markets outside the EU, such as the US.
Saxo Bank also offers three account levels: Classic, Platinum ($200,000 minimum), and VIP ($1,000,000 minimum), each with its fee structure.
Speaking of fees, they are one of the biggest cons of using Saxo Bank. Fees on US stocks and ETFs start at only $1, but only for VIP accounts. For Platinum and Classic accounts, those fees would be much higher, starting at $4 and $5, respectively.
The fee structure is fairly complex, and there are also some additional fees to be aware of. Just to name a few most common ones:
- Minimum monthly custody fees: €5;
- Inactivity fee (with no login in 6 months): €100;
- Currency conversion fees: between 0.45% and 0.75%.
It is best to select the desired financial product from their website and see the full fee structure. In a nutshell, Saxo Bank is tailored to the professional investor and is not recommended to the average investor, mostly due to its higher-than-average fees.
- Very wide selection of financial products
- Extensive trading data and tools
- Reputable broker with a long track record
- Higher than average fees for the non-professional investor
- High minimum initial deposit
- Not available in most big markets outside the EU
The bottom line
To summarize, here’s our list of Trading 212 Alternatives:
When choosing a broker, you have to keep in mind your investing goals and strategy. Some brokers offer automated investing and some do not. Some brokers offer a wider choice of financial products and advanced trading tools, while others offer commission-free trading and intuitive platforms. Needless to say, each broker has its pros and cons. There is no such thing as a broker that fits everyone’s needs.
We hope we helped you in choosing your broker with this article. Let us know what you think about it in the comments below!